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Russian singer on EU sanctions list issued Italian visa — embassy

September 02, 2015, 13:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The visa was issued for "humanitarian reasons," Italy’s embassy spokesperson said

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Josif Kobzon

Josif Kobzon

© TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, September 2. /TASS/. Russian prominent singer turned MP Joseph Kobzon has been issued an Italian visa for a year despite being included in the EU blacklist, Italy’s embassy spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Kobzon has received the national Italian visa, which allows him to undergo treatment there and stay a maximum of 90 days within 6 months, Daria Klimenko told the Govorit Moskva radio station.

The visa was issued for "humanitarian reasons," she stressed.

Kobzon, 77, who was born in Ukraine’s Donbas region, was blacklisted by the EU for having visited the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and making statements "supporting militias."

The well-known singer, who is also the first deputy chairman of the culture committee of Russia’s State Duma, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008. Since then, he has been undergoing treatment abroad.

Italy’s Foreign Ministry said earlier the decision to grant visa to Kobzon, who was added to the sanctions list in February 2015, had been agreed with other EU member-states.

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